Volume 203, 15 July 2016, Pages 483–490

  • Chair for Fruit Growing, Viticulture and Vegetable Growing, Department of Agronomy, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


Selected spirit-based beverages contain beneficial and harmful chemical compounds.
Specific compounds transfer from the fruit kernels into the liquid.
The content of cyanogenic glycosides decreased during four weeks of steeping.
The content of several phenolics increased during liqueur preparation.


Popular liqueurs made from apricot/cherry pits were evaluated in terms of their phenolic composition and occurrence of cyanogenic glycosides (CGG). Analyses consisted of detailed phenolic and cyanogenic profiles of cherry and apricot seeds as well as beverages prepared from crushed kernels. Phenolic groups and cyanogenic glycosides were analyzed with the aid of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrophotometry (MS). Lower levels of cyanogenic glycosides and phenolics have been quantified in liqueurs compared to fruit kernels. During fruit pits steeping in the alcohol, the phenolics/cyanogenic glycosides ratio increased and at the end of beverage manufacturing process higher levels of total analyzed phenolics were detected compared to cyanogenic glycosides (apricot liqueur: 38.79 μg CGG per ml and 50.57 μg phenolics per ml; cherry liqueur 16.08 μg CGG per ml and 27.73 μg phenolics per ml). Although higher levels of phenolics are characteristic for liqueurs made from apricot and cherry pits these beverages nevertheless contain considerable amounts of cyanogenic glycosides.


  • Cyanogenic glycosides;
  • Phenolic compounds;
  • Amygdalin;
  • Prunasin;
Corresponding author.